On Passion and Detachment

I wrote about detachment two years back. I wrote it the day after someone told me about how they prefer to be detached in a relationship. I, of course, felt too deeply into it at the time and decided to go on a rampage on why I considered vulnerability and intimacy as a strength.

(READ: Theories of Detachment)

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Fast forward to a week ago, a friend shared with me that he found it more beautiful when a woman expressed “femininity”, showed true emotion instead of acting tough and building walls. I quipped that this is applicable to everyone and not just to women. Emotions, especially the ones brought about by passion, are extremely beautiful. We should all just say what we feel, be happy, be in love.

But despite being such an emotional open book, believing in feeling a plethora of emotions with conviction, and in diving in my own tears of joy and sadness (haha), some people would still perceive me as the complete opposite. Aloof, careless. 

I have taken a liking to personality tests (scientifically-backed, research-driven ones like the Myers-Briggs’ to silly WittyBunny Facebook quizzes alike), and frequently find myself sticking my nose into astrology, numerology, etc. and I’ve learned that I liked these things because I had the need to understand people (myself included) beyond what they perceive themselves to be.

And with that need to understand I have cultivated such passion. I have nurtured a passion for all things and all people that I thought defined me.

I feel so immensely for my career, my relationships, my hobbies that I put my heart and soul into anything and everything. I used the affirmation I receive as the emotional fuel that kept me running. Leap after leap, following wherever things may lead me. And with this kind of attitude, I believed I could achieve anything I set my mind to.

Even in the chance of failures, I leaped. Blindly, fearfully, but in hope of things not failing as I had originally planned.

“With attachment comes a very strong urge to control the circumstances.”Shreya DalelaMedium.com

Passion made me reckless and impatient.

Passion — allowing my heart to overrun my head — has led me to sleepless nights. Passion has permitted me an unnecessary attachment to material things and toxic relationships. And I sought this kind of passion other people as well.

And now I am at a point that my emotional fuel from the things and people that I love have run low and I am crumbling, dwindling along with it.

Because I have become too dependent on the warmth of the fire of my passion, I freeze without them.

They say you shouldn’t do your groceries when you’re hungry, make decisions when you’re mad, or even promises when you’re happy. They also do say that love is blind. All of them mean the same thing. We are not our best selves when we are passionate and too attached. We are not our best selves when we let our emotions run the show.

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It is only when we are detached to things, people, and even our memories can we reach our true human potential. Do not let material things own you, and never take validation from people to heart. In the same manner, when we are consumed by our past experiences, we do not allow new (and possibly even greater ones) to happen.

Maybe the perception of my aloofness comes from the space that I give. I used to think that detachment in relationships was always a negative thing, but have matured enough to respect a partner’s space. I will let you be you and more than anything, I would love for you to grow along with me — at your own pace, in your own element.

Detachment in love is necessary to maintain that optimum amount of distance that is most essential for growth. – Shreya Dalela, Medium.com

I could see how people might think of that space as a “wall”. People mistake silence and space for indifference, even hate. The secret to being able to tell the difference? Is to actually tell people that they’re different. Miscommunication is always the greatest barrier in relationships.

Practicing a philosophy of gratitude through detachment

Practice a philosophy of gratitude, a gratitude rugged enough to endure anything. When you are grateful and detached, you learn to bravely face adversity because you are content and you see whatever you CAN control as an opportunity instead of always looking for something that’s MISSING. This is something passion can never do. Passion will always go over and beyond your physical, emotional, and mental capacity to fill the need to CONTROL and COMPLETE itself and leads you to act and react impulsively. When we practice this philosophy of gratitude and subtle detachment, getting back up from failure and losses become easier, and we become smarter.

Know that the only thing you can really control is your reaction, your attachment, your emotion. 

One could still argue that passion and being able to express emotion freely are such great traits that we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of. I still do believe in that. Passion does fuel change and create wonderful achievements. But when practice how to detach when required and learn to moderate our feelings, we are fair to ourselves and to those around us.

We avoid regret.

We avoid saying things we don’t mean.

We avoid waking up one day realizing that we are not where and who we want to be and who we want to be with.

We lessen the chances of hurting ourselves and, more importantly, others.

xx C

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